Department vision

As a department we aim to encourage the development of sensitive, articulate and thoughtful individuals who can use language effectively and appropriately in as wide a range of situations as possible in preparation for the skills they will need later in life. We reinforce specific values objectives which are linked with whole school aims.  Our aim to enable students to develop into sensitive, critical and efficient readers who form the habit of reading for pleasure, interest and information;  In discussion, we foster in all discussion with students as well as in their written work, attitudes and arguments that are rational, without prejudice and evidential.

Year 7

In Year 7, students develop their core skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening with a focus on developing confidence and skills at a more sophisticated level. Assessment is through a variety of written assignments to measure their skills in different writing styles and a variety of texts.  Texts include a poetry selection, a novel such as Private Peaceful, Abomination and a play script such as A Christmas Carol or Frankenstein. All Year 7 also study a Shakespeare play.. There is one reading lesson in the Library per fortnight. Students also have speaking and listening assessments to develop their oral abilities.

Year 8

In Year 8, students further develop their core skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening with a focus on developing a more varied, confident and sophisticated use of language both in discussion and written assignments. They are assessed on a range of assessment focuses such as writing imaginatively, exploring writers’ methods and intentions and presenting a prepared talk to others on a chosen topic.  Students will engage with a range of texts including a novel such as A Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, a play such as a version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol where drama lessons are incorporated and all students study a selection of poetry and a Shakespeare play.

Year 9

Year 9 is a GCSE preparation year and students’ work is assessed using GCSE criteria. The work is similarly based on the level of reading and writing they will do for GCSE so that students become familiar with GCSE demands and the expectations of the assessment focuses.  Students study Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird a Shakespeare play and a selection of poems.  They also practice GCSE style reading and writing tasks based on similar stimulus material in the GCSE English Language examination.

Years 10 & 11

In Year 10 and Year 11, students study for AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature.  This is a two year course culminating in written examinations.  There are two examination papers for English Language and two for English Literature. These are two separate GCSE awards.

For English Literature students study:

  • a pre-1900 Prose texts.Current texts include Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein;

  • An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley

  • A Shakespeare play

  • A selection of poetry based on either Love and Relationships or Power and Conflict

    For English Language students study:

  • A selection of fiction and non-fiction prose extracts to develop reading skills;

  • A selection of stimuli to develop students' creative writing skills.

 There is also a Speaking and Listening component and students will be awarded a separate level for their oral ability.


Assessment for Years 7, 8 and 9 are two formal pieces per term one of which will be based on the students’ reading and another is a writing task. There will also be informal Speaking and Listening assessments.

In Year 10 and 11, students will do regular assignments to develop essay writing skills and other homework will be reading the set examination texts and preparation work for the lessons.   Two homeworks are set each week.

Students will also do timed essay writing practice in class.

Post 16 at WG6

Edexcel A level English Literature

In this subject you will be expected to:

Read a range of texts from the pre and post 1900 era, covering prose, drama and poetry. Your reading will be focused on close analysis of the form, structure and language of the pieces as well as the writer’s presentation of character and themes. This is an exciting course that will allow you to advance your thinking skills, your ability to analyse and evaluate a literary text/era, and develop the sophistication in your written skills. You will read widely studying a range of texts from the sixteenth century to modern literature.

You will need to have an interest in literature across the canon acquiring a heightened understanding of social, historical and cultural contexts and the writers’ methods.

AQA AS English Language and Literature:

In this subject you will consider the ways that linguistic and literary methods are related and explore the links through the study of literature, poetry and a non-fiction anthology.  You will also complete a re-creative writing task along with a commentary exploring linguistic choices.  This is an exciting and challenging course which will help you to develop you analytical and evaluative skills as well developing you ability to carry out independent research.  Literature texts studied include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the poetry of Seamus Heaney.

Related careers

The major strength of success in English is the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Good communication is vital in all careers and a high level is expected by employers in all professions and also by the public.

  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Law
  • Communications
  • Information
  • Civil Service
  • Publishing
  • Theatre Management